Meet Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New Artistic Director designate – who will succeed Judith Jamison this July, he has announced today the creation of the New Directions Choreography Lab as a component to his vision and the Company’s 2011/12 Season.

want. here. now.

“I think that one of the things that choreographers suffer from is the lack of time and space. Certainly the access to bodies, to dancers,” says Mr. Battle. “I’m trying to find ways to identify choreographers who would benefit from having space and creative time to develop their work so that everything isn’t micro-waved. Things take time, and we should honor process.”

Mr. Battle’s interest in nurturing process has resulted in the New Directions Choreography Lab, which will offer assistance each year to four emerging or mid-level choreographers working in a variety of techniques.

New Directions will give choreographers access to versatile Ailey-trained dancers, rehearsal space and time, stipends, and the freedom to create without the pressures of a commission or final performance

“Often, we as choreographers have a deadline and we have to have a product at the end. I think that our culture is so product-driven that we often forget about the process,” says Mr. Battle. “And so the product tends to be stuck together with airplane glue just for a presentation, rather than having some sense that even if the ‘product’ isn’t a masterpiece, it’s a part of the journey.”

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